Looking towards the future there are plenty of questions surrounding the Giants’ defensive end core. For much of Tom Coughlin’s tenure in New York the defensive ends have been the strength of the team, but this year’s group pales in comparison to those of years past and change could be looming. Jason Pierre-Paul may be finishing up his final season as a Giant, Mathias Kiwanuka may never suit up for the Giants again and it remains to be seen whether a viable replacement for either is on the roster. There are hopes that Damontre Moore, the 2013 3rd round pick out of Texas A&M, could be the next in line of Giants top pass rushers, but Moore has yet to see an extended opportunity with the starters. Moore will finally get that chance over the last four games, as injuries to Mathias Kiwanuka and Robert Ayers have opened the door for the second year pass rusher.
“It’s an opportunity,” Moore said of his insertion into the starting role. “Any time an opportunity presented itself in the past, I’ve taken advantage of it. I’ve been waiting for it a long time. I’m just waiting to step up. I’ve been preparing a lot and then I had a lot of great veteran leadership that was in front of me within these past two years. I got to learn from Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Jason Pierre-Paul, so I feel like it’s my time and I’m ready to take advantage of it.”
The Giants will be in future evaluation mode as their incredibly disappointing season enters the final stretch. There may not be a player on the Giants roster more worth evaluating at this point than Damontre Moore, as the Giants brass will have a number of big decisions to make. A strong end to the season for Moore and the Giants may feel more comfortable letting Jason Pierre-Paul walk in free agency. No stranger to taking calculating risks, Jerry Reese made a similar decision when Jonathan Hankins’ rookie promise played a role in the team’s decision to move on from Linval Joseph.
With the questionable status of rookie left tackle Taylor Lewan, the opportunity for Moore may not have come at a better time. Will Svitek struggled mightily in replacing Lewan last week and should Lewan play he surely will not be at his best. If Moore can have an instant impact and finish the season strong, his starting position is one he may not relinquish for some time.